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BMC Nephrol. 2010 Jun 1;11:8. doi: 10.1186/1471-2369-11-8.

MDRD or CKD-EPI study equations for estimating prevalence of stage 3 CKD in epidemiological studies: which difference? Is this difference relevant?

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Department of Nephrology-Dialysis-Transplantation, University of Liège, CHU Sart Tilman, Liège, Belgium.



Prevalence of stage 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD) is increasing according to the NHANES study. Prevalence has been calculated using the MDRD study equation for estimating glomerular filtration rate (GFR). Recently, a new estimator based on creatinine, the CKD-EPI equation, has been proposed which is presumed to better perform in normal GFR ranges. The aim of the study was to measure the difference in prevalence of stage 3 CKD in a population using either the MDRD or the CKD-EPI study equations.


CKD screening is organized in the Province of Liège, Belgium. On a voluntary basis, people aged between 45 and 75 years are invited to be screened. GFR is estimated by the MDRD study equation and by the "new" CKD-EPI equations.


The population screened consisted in 1992 people (47% of men). Mean serum creatinine was 0.86 +/- 0.20 mg/dL. The prevalence of stage 3 CKD in this population using the MDRD or the CKD-EPI equations was 11.04 and 7.98%, respectively. The prevalence of stage 3 CKD is significantly higher with the MDRD study equation (p < 0,0012).


Prevalence of stage 3 CKD varies strongly following the method used for estimating GFR, MDRD or CKD-EPI study equations. Such discrepancies are of importance and must be confirmed and explained by additional studies using GFR measured with a reference method.

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